Spit-Roasted Balinese Roast Pork (Babi Guling) with Grilled Green Beans and Saffron Rice

Balinese Roast Pork (babi guling) infused with fragrant spices and served with Grilled Green Beans and Saffron rice.


Spit-Roasted Balinese Roast Pork (Babi Guling) with Grilled Green Beans and Saffron Rice

Recipe Notes

  • Method: Rotisserie or indirect grilling
  • Equipment: 6 to 8


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (about 3 pounds)
  • 4 large shallots, peeled
  • 4 to 8 Thai chiles or 2 to 4 jalapenos
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh galangal or additional ginger
  • 3 stalks fresh lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup), or 3 strips lemon zest
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, or more as needed

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Using a sharp, heavy knife, cut a deep pocket in one side of the roast, starting and ending about 3/4 inch from each end and cutting almost all the way through to the other side. Set the roast aside while you prepare the spice paste

Step 2: Combine the shallots, chiles, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, coriander, pepper, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a mortar and pound to a smooth paste with the pestle. Or combine all the ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper and process to a smooth paste.

Step 3: Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the spice paste and saute until fragrant and shiny, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool, about 15 minutes.

Step 4: Spread half of the spice paste into the pocket you cut in the pork. Tie the roast, using butcher’s string, at 1 inch intervals, or pin the opening shut with metal skewers. Using a rubber spatula, spread the remaining paste over the entire surface of the roast and set aside while you prepare the grill.

Step 5: Rotisserie Method: Set up the grill for the rotisserie and preheat the grill to high. When ready to cook, skewer the roast lengthwise on the spit and let it rotate on the grill until nicely browned and cooked through, 1 to 1-1/2 hours, brushing with the remaining oil as needed. (If using charcoal, add 10 to 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.) When tested with an instant-read meat thermometer, the internal temperature should read 190 degrees F for very well done. This is the way Indonesians prefer their pork.

Step 6: Indirect Grilling Method: Set up the grill for indirect grilling, placing a drip pan in the center of the coals, and preheat to medium. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Place the roast on the hot grate over the drip pan, cover, and cook until nicely browned on all sides and the internal temperature is 190 degrees F, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, basting occasionally with the remaining oil. Add fresh coals as above.

Step 7: Transfer the roast to a cutting board or platter, removing it from the spit first, if needed, and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the string or skewers and slice into thin crosswise slices to serve